The Hellenic Rescue Team – Attica took part in the Windsurfers’ Safety Seminar. It was intended for windsurfers as well as for people who take part in all kinds of marine activities. It was organized for the first time in Greece on the 19th of January 2013 by Thanos Sakkas’ “Windsurf Academy (WA) at Mikro Kavouri”. This essential seminar had a lot of participants. Triggered by the recent death of a fellow windsurfer (12/12/2013),the first statistical study of Greek windsurfers was composed in the seminar. It applies only to the seminar participants.
(Excerpt of Thanos Sakkas’ statistical study)
Starting from the absolute basics, the Greek windsurfer cannot swim as well as he or she should and almost no one wears a PFD.
1. Nevertheless, 68% claims to be an expert, something that doesn’t fit with the total lack of basic and other useful skills.
2. 55% claims to be fit, something that is far from real.
3. Only 20% has knot tying skills.
4. 56% windsurfs in the winter season.
5. Almost no one carries a cellphone when windsurfing.
6. Almost no one carries a water bottle.
7. 78% is on the water less than 50 days per year. Very few (15%) have more than 10 years of experience.
8. Only 19% have taken any kind of lessons.
9. 94% have never taken safety, rescue and self-rescue lessons The percentage of those who have first aid and CPR skills is even lower.
Nevertheless most believe that their level as marine enthusiasts is high. The recent event made many people participate in this seminar. These extremely important data that were collected will help us see in details the real image of the Greek windsurfer and help organize seminars for the correct and safe way to use a windsurf.
1. Made our voluntary work and our role in emergency situations known.
2. We informed the participants about our cooperation with the Unified Search and Rescue Coordination Center and out ability to help in emergency situations.
3. We discussed the possibility of our team’s cooperation with the Windsurf Academy and the Lifeguard Academy in situations when their personnel and boats can be combined with the operational force of the Hellenic Rescue Team – Attica.
We hope to establish a real cooperation in order to become stronger and more effective in rescue situations.